for soprano and ensemble
Leggero soprano (also plays small percussion instruments),
flute, viola, cello and harp
Required percussion instruments:
Group of small cow bells
Small Indian bells
Pair of small and light Chinese / Tibetan hand cymbals [tingshaws]
Canticles 2; 1-13
(also known as “The Songs of Songs” or “Shir Hashirim”
Close Encounters with Music
Lola and Edwin Jaffe
6 May 2007, Great Barrington, MA , USA
Close Encounters With Music.
Spring Calls for soprano, flute, viola, cello and harp is a setting of texts from the second chapter of Canticles (Shir Hashirim) book, known also as “The Song of Songs.” It is one of the five “Megilot” – sacred scrolls that are part of the Hebrew Bible. Canticles is mainly being read in Passover, the “holiday of spring.” Its theme is love and rebirth of love, symbolized by the spring.
Usually, only one or two lines of Canticles texts are being set to music. However, I had an interest to create a sort of journey as well as a psychological journey of a woman who searches, awaits and discovers her love. The text parallels the awakening of love with the awakening of spring in a most vivid and colorful way. While choosing instrumentation and musical language to with work, the modal, archaic sound mixed with the new was in my vision. Therefore, one can hear colors of certain exotic and primeval instruments such as the sistrum – an ancient Egyptian percussion instrument, dated from 2500 B.C. used mostly for religious ceremonies.
Spring Calls was written for Close Encounters With Music, Yehuda Hanani – artistic director. It was generously commissioned by Lola and Edwin Jaffe with deep appreciation to their support.